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tv   Politics Nation  MSNBC  March 12, 2012 3:00pm-4:00pm PDT

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nation." i'm al sharpton. tonight's lead, there's something ugly happening in the gop. on the eve of two major primaries, the republican candidates are campaigning in the deep south, pandering to southern voters however they can, and as they get deeper into dixie, the race is getting more disturbing. a new poll shows 52% of republican voters in mississippi think the president is a muslim, 52%. and in alabama, where i spent last week marching for voting rights, it's not much better. 45% of republicans there think the president is a muslim. this is a stunning set of briefs in a gop getting more extreme by the day. just listen to some mississippi republicans talking about the president for hbo "realtime with bill maher." >> you never liked the president, did you? >> never. i never will.
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>> why not? >> one thing, his name's obama. >> this is america. our president should be american, not muslim. >> i hate obamacare. i think it's retarded and pointless. >> we would rather go broke and die hungry than to give up our moral beliefs. >> i feel like, if voting god and voting faith is more important to me than voting for free money or voting for a handout. >> like the tag on the front of my truck says, the south will rise again. >> the south will rise again. the president is a muslim. where are the republican leaders denouncing this kind of talk? where are the people that want to take the gop into the white house? their rhetoric isn't much better. >> obama is a president who is simultaneously apologizing to our religious fanatic opponents as they kill young americans.
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while attacking the others. >> i understand why he wants you to go to college. he wants to remake you in his image. i want to create jobs so people can remake the children into their image, not his. >> perhaps because of the people the president hangs around with and their agenda, a second agenda, they have fought against religion. >> and they have not apologized for any of these words. now, contrast all of that with the president's view of faith and politics from an interview released just moments ago. >> when we start using religion as a bludgeon in politics, when we start questioning other people's faith, we start using religion to divide instead of bring the country together, then i think we've got a problem, and unfortunately we've seen that sometimes during the political season. >> bring the country together. ultimately, we must all firmly stand behind what we believe. i do, very passionate about it.
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but i've learned that we must do it with the goal of uniting people for the good of everybody. not playing off each other to take cheap shots, to score cheap points. joining me now, democratic strategist bob from, who is also a professor. and mike huckaby's come paampai manager in 2008. thank you both for being here tonight. chip, i want to start with you. i want to show you this again. 62% of mississippi republicans and 45% of alabama republicans think the president is a muslim. are you surprised by that? i mean, these folks that we're talking about could choose your party's nominee. >> well, i am a little surprised by that. i think most people around the country, not just in the south, know that the president's not a muslim. i don't think that's going to be an issue that you're going to
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hear our candidate say that he is. they believe that he's an american, and like i said, we may have lots of disagreements. i just don't think this is an issue that most campaigns should be using. i don't think you're seeing any of our campaigns using it as an issue. the poll numbers do surprise me a little bit that they're so high. >> bob, if none of the campaigns are using it, none of them are loudly denouncing it, and let's be clear. there's nothing wrong with being a muslim. they're really playing into this islama phobia in a way that their silence makes one wonder, if it was the democratic side, there would be all kinds of repudiation from president obama or any other leading democratic candidate if it was an open election. >> yeah, that's what colin powell said before the 2008 election, when he said, he's not a muslim, but what if he was? this is a country where we ought to have no religious tests for public office. when you look at the polls in
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mississippi and alabama now -- and here's where i disagree with chip. it's not just the casual notion that the president is a muslim. substantial minorities in these polls also think that interracial marriage in this country, an issue we settled in a supreme court case in 1967, should be illegal. you look at those clips of people at the beginning of your segment, and you understand here that you have a party of resentment. resentment against the fact that there's an african-american president. a lily white party that cannot deal with the fact that america is demographically changing, and that within our lifetime, or certainly within the lifetime of people a little younger than me, this is going to be a majority nonwhite nation. so i think what you see here is a lot of resentment, a lot of resistance, and republican candidates pandering instead of standing up. i think it would be great if romney stood up and said, of course the president's not a muslim, and people ought to stop thinking that. >> chip, didn't john mccain once in his campaign stop a lady and say, no, the president's a decent guy. i mean, there is a precedent for
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this that we're not seeing done by these candidates, not one of them. in fact, i played you some of what they said, very extreme, very borderline themselves, saying things that really, really help to poison the atmosphere. why are we not seeing at least one person with the courage of a john mccain in this race? >> yeah, i remember when john mccain said that, and i was very happy that he said that because i think politics doesn't have to be so personal. we make it so much because it's so important to us, but at the end of the day, we should say, look, the president's a good man. i think he's raised an incredibly nice family. i think about how he talks about his daughters, and that's exciting. i hope someday, if i'm lucky to have daughters like that, i hope i have a good family like that. and talk about the issues. that's the key. and i hope that bob is wrong about our party. i don't see it that way. i think our party has not gone in that direction, but that's not how you win elections, that's how you lose elections. i've seen some of our candidates
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stand up and say -- i've heard mitt romney and rick santorum say, i believe president obama is a good man, but here's where i disagree. i've heard newt gingrich say that. i think you get more people to agree with you long term if you start out with the premise, we're all good people in this race. let me tell you where we have disagreements. like i said before, mr. president, both democrats and republicans, our goal is to both have a better country. we just think there's lots of different paths to get there. we happen to disagree on which path is right. >> but also at the same time, bob, we hear them constantly using terms like the president wants to make you in his image, the president is a food stamp president. i mean, these candidates themselves have gotten very personal, very ugly with the president. in the long run, beyond this election, isn't the danger, bob, that the republican party will be perceived as the party of these extreme kind of elements
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and bias and intolerance? >> well, that's what's happened, i think, to mitt romney in this race. he's been pushed further and further to the right because he's going to pander, he's going to stay whatever he has to to gt this nomination. he's going to announce he's eating grits and start wishing people in the south good morning, which he's doing now. the deeper reality, which is where i disagree with chip, he's right that we ought to have a certain kind of politics, but it it doesn't help us to ignore history. and the history is very clear here. when lyndon johnson told john kennedy, as he was about to propose the civil rights bill, that that was going to cost democrats the south for a generation, it's been more than a generation. there is an element of racism here. there's an element of tremendous anger that the president is an african-american, tremendous anger that the country is changing, a sense that all you have to do is look at these tea party rallies that he have woo seen all over the country where the president is portrayed as an alien and worse, and you
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understand the anger these republican candidates are appealing to. it fits perfectly for gingrich. it fits pretty well for santorum, and romney has cut his conscience to fit the cloth of this kind of reaction. >> chip, can't you see that, as americans look at this kind of feeling, the anti-woman kind of misogyny we went through the last ten days and hearing the south will rise again. to women, that means put on your apron and get in the kitchen, and to african-americans, that means get back in the field. not one of the leading candidates is really openly denouncing this and saying, wait a minute. this is where we need to draw the line, and i am going to be more careful in my own language, which many of us have had to do in our political careers. >> i think how candidates win is talk about what they're for, not necessarily what they're against. i know bob and i talked about that before. look, i've always said i'm a
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conservative. i'm just not mad about it. i think sometimes our campaigns, they're conservative, but it looks mean, and i think, when we talk about taxes, we talk about less government, we talk about the things that matter to conservatives, and you can talk about those social issues as well. you talk about life. you talk about marriage. but you do it in a way that's not mad. and i think that's how we win long term. there's just no need to up the rhetoric. everybody on this show tonight said some things that got us in trouble along the way. but overall, you've got to have a tone that makes sense for most people, and i think right now, if we're going to win in november, we stay on the issues that matter, which is jobs and the economy. i think right now we're in the heat of a primary. there's a lot of things going on. sometimes the campaigns say things they don't want to say, but ultimately these three campaigns, including dr. paul, are talking about issues that matter to them, which is jobs and the economy. that's how we beat barack obama in november. >> they're not talking about jobs. they're talking about women and not in such a favorable light. we're going to talk about that next.
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bob shrum, chip saltsman, thank you for your time tonight. still ahead, republicans say they're laser focused on jobs, but they have a funny way of showing it. plus some big news today on our fight to protect voter rights. but also an alert that we have to watch out for. and scary movie, you betcha. >> do you know what the fed is? it stands for the federal reserve system. no, please, don't write. just listen. >> "game change" took us behind the scenes with sarah palin four years ago. is she still a force in the gop? we're live in alaska. you're watching politics nation on msnbc. eggland's best eggs. the best in nutrition... just got better.
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welcome back to "politics nation" and this edition of watch what they do and not what they say. speaker boehner started his term vowing to create jobs. let's look at the fine work they've done in the last year.
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they've ordered to defund planned parenthood twice, deny access to birth control, and voted for the blunt amendment, which would allow any employer to deny employees coverage because of their own beliefs. and in the jobs column, they've managed to pass one bill. while this is going on in congress, the gop warned women's health is at a fever pitch in the states. today michigan is considering a law that would require women to go -- to undergo screening, to make sure they weren't forced into an abortion. 2 1/2 months into the year, and we're on pace to shatter last year's record of 600 proposed anti-abortion measures. while they push this, they still pretend jobs is their focus. governor bob mcdonnell, the new face of the war on women, was ready to sign a law forcing invasive, invasive ultrasounds of women seeking abortions.
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he backtracked. here he is yesterday squirming on national television. >> were you wrong to support that initially, or did you simply back off because the political heat got turned up the way it did? >> that was part of a package on jobs and economic development. >> were you wrong when you said this procedure should be part of the bill? >> no, i wasn't. people go into the voting booth in november, and they're going to look at who's got the best vision to create jobs, who's got the best idea to put us out of debt. and this constant focus on econom social issues is largely coming from the democrats. >> so forcing women into unnecessary medical procedures is a plan to create jobs? this is a jobs plan i never heard of. joining me now, representative marcy kaptor, democratic congresswoman from ohio, and josh mcintosh, spokeswoman for emily's list, which helps elect pro choice democratic women to
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office. thank you both for being here tonight. >> thanks for having me. >> congresswoman kaptor, let me start with you. what are voters in your district saying about the republicans' attack on women's health? >> well, they think the republicans want to take us back a half century on reproductive health, and women are turning to democrats in droves because the romney plumber economic and social dogma actually translate into class warfare on women. their policies will make life worse for women across this country. >> jess, it seems like the republicans and conservatives that are taking these views are getting some interesting headlines. the war on women is becoming a real problem for them. headlines like the republican party in need of prominent spokeswomen. centrist women tell of disenchantment with republicans.
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women will remember in november. gop candidates will pay a price for alienating half the electorate. is this backfiring on them, jess? >> oh, absolutely, it is. i mean, women of both parties are fleeing the republican agenda and with very good reason. emily's list commissioned a poll. you can see the whole results at emily's, but the takeaway was that voters overwhelmingly oppose these efforts to restrict access to birth control. it's 2012. they don't want to be debating this right now. and the blunt amendment that you mentioned before is so unpopular that 40% of republicans are less likely to vote for somebody who supported it. and keep in mind, that's every republican except for olympia snowe supporting it. so absolutely, this comes back in november. >> and on top of that, rush limbaugh, we understand, has obtained a memo from premier radio that listed over 100
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companies, jess, have requested their ads not be played on rush limbaugh's show over there. so there seems to be a price being paid for this. >> for sure. i think it's important to realize that rush is just the last front in the overwhelming gop war on women. what you said before was absolutely correct. they won in 2010 because they campaigned on jobs. when they got into office, when the gop took over the house, they pulled this huge bait and switch on the american people and started on this really divisive social agenda, and it is absolutely backfiring. at emily's list, which helps elect democratic women, our membership has doubled since john boehner took over the house. >> congresswoman kaptur, let me bring you back in on this. dems and republicans are waiting on the passage of the geo small jobs bill, but is this enough? >> oh, i don't know. they're dodging -- they're not really kicking over the goal post. they're just take the transportation bill.
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that would create millions of jobs across this country, reverend. they just can't seem to get it out of the house and senate. the american people are clamoring for getting the roads paved, for improving our airports, for improving our mass transit, for improving our ports. you would think america could do this. we were a great nation. 50 years ago, we built the interstate highway system. we weren't afraid of it. this group can't seem to get a transportation bill out of the congress. that is the biggest job creator we could have. let me say something about women, if i might. the poorest people in this country are women, women over the age of 75, women who are 18 to 24 years of age, they are raising children, they are elderly themselves, or they're taking care of sick relatives or spouses or children. you know, it seems to me that there should be a little more focus on the economic challenges facing women in this country, and many of those women would go to work in support positions, even on the lines in many of our building trades and electrical trades and so forth. we can't get this bill out of the house and senate. what a shame.
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it's time for a change, and i think we ought to have democratic majorities in both chambers elected. >> when you dealt with it in the senate, they came and attached the blunt amendment. when you factor in the gender gap in income, it even embellishes the poverty of women. yet that's why i don't understand the political strategy here because yet, when you look at the fact that women have cast between 7 doctor nearly 10 million more votes than men in recent elections, in 2000, 7.8 million more women voted, 2004, 8.8 million more women, 2008, 9.7 million more women. i mean, they are absolutely offending the largest voting bloc in terms of gender in the country. congresswoman? >> yes, they certainly are, and if you take a look at women in positions across this country, whether they are serving as nurses, whether they're serving
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as waitresses, whether they're professors, whether they're in public life, they're going to remember who gave them the right to affordable health care. they're going to remember which president it was, president obama, that passed equal pay for equal work as his first measure. they're going to remember who raised the minimum wage and who gave them access to education and pell grants. american women will remember who fought for reproductive health care for women across this country. they're going to vote in november. >> just hearing that, does emily's list think the democrats may even have a chance at taking the house given this new fact of women being alienated by the republicans? >> look, i really do. it's not enough to reelect the president. we absolutely have to do that, but we have to send him reinforcements. we are seeing strong democratic women stand up in the house and in the senate, fight back against the right, and try to get some progressive policies in there for women and families. like the congresswoman said, women want to be talking about jobs and the economy. the only people in america who
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want to be debating birth control in the 21st century are these republican men, and sending them some strong democratic women as opposition really sounds good right about now. >> congresswoman, let me ask you the last question. you face in this election joe the plumber. are you going to politically flush him? >> well, our goal is to conduct a fine campaign and to return to the congress in 2013 and to stand up for the rights of working men and women across this country. and to stand up for the future. i think that romney plumber economics is a no win certainly for the district i represent, certainly for ohio, and certainly for the country, sir. >> congresswoman kaptur and jess mcintosh, thank you both for your time tonight. ahead, happy 65th birthday. he's celebrating with some grits
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and by making bogus claims about medicare. my present to him tonight, the facts. plus we marched all week against radical voter laws that suppress the vote. tonight big breaking news on how the fight is working. wake up!
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folks, the gop candidates
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have a rough election tomorrow. so i'd like to take a moment to set the politics aside. and wish mitt romney a happy birthday. he is 65 years old today. happy birthday, governor. i hope you get all the cheesy grits you can eat. but, of course, now that he is 65, willard romney is eligible for medicare, but romney's campaign says he won't sign up for medicare. he'll keep his private insurance instead. i guess he wants to protect himself from the republican attack on medicare, a little thing called the ryan plan that willard just loves. >> one of the greatest ideas that required extraordinary courage on the part of our republican friends in washington was to vote for something known as the ryan plan. >> really? it took courage to vote for the ryan plan? the ryan plan that would force seniors to pay an extra $6,000 a
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year for health care? the ryan plan that the "the wall street journal" says would, quote, essentially end medicare. willard, maybe you don't need medicare, but 95% of all seniors do. i know you thought we'd let you off the hook just because it's your birthday. nah. but we do hope you have a happy birthday. oh, yeah, and nice try. but we gotcha. for important legal documents. so start your business, protect your family, launch your dreams. at, we put the law on your side. i don't want a plunger anywhere near my coffee. not in my house. with maxwell house french roast, you let gravity do the work. [ male announcer ] maxwell house french roast. always good to the last drop. the two trains and a bus rider.
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we cannot and we must not take the right to vote for granted. no can we shirk the basic responsibility that has fallen upon our shoulders. we will examine the facts, and we will apply the law. >> that was u.s. attorney general eric holder vowing to protect the right to vote two months ago. today he acted on that promise.
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the justice department rejected texas voter i.d. law under the voting rights act, finding the state failed to show the law will not discriminate against minority voters. assistant attorney general wrote, "even using the data most favorable to the state, hispanics disproportionately lack either a driver's license or personal identification card." also today a major ruling in wisconsin, where a judge blocked a strict voter i.d. law, ruling it unconstitutional. both cases are good news for the gop effort to disenfranchise millions is still going strong. an alert tonight in pennsylvania where the state house is expected to pass its own restricted voter i.d. law. tonight governor corbett is expected to sign it, and it
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could have a major impact on the election. this is why we marched for a week. they're trying to fix a problem that doesn't exist. i still can't find anyone who can show me widespread voter fraud and where it exists. this is why we must keep on fighting. joining me now is pennsylvania state senator leach, a big opponent of voter i.d., and co-director of the advancement project. great to have both of you with us tonight. >> good to be with you, reverend. >> judith, let me start with you. big news today out of texas and wisconsin. where do you see this going? the fight back is working, you think? >> that's right. i think so. i think these are huge victories in wisconsin, where they have put the voter i.d. law on hold and then in texas where the department of justice has said no to discrimination and voter suppression. so i think this is a good start, but we have to be vigilant because we know this is a
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partisan effort to roll back civil rights, to cut back participation of particular voters. people of color, young people, and elderly, and so we have to keep up the fight like we've been doing. >> so what we've seen now is the justice department going to south carolina and texas, where they have standing on voting rights because we have the clearance there. and eight states are trying to even challenge it with section 5. so this is -- i don't understand what pre-clearance has to do with voter i.d., which makes it clear this is about trying to roll back voting rights and dealing with partisan politics. >> reverend sharpton, it's the department of justice is supposed to either approve or reject these laws, especially in the southern states; and so the texas fight actually is not yet over because we will be in court around this issue. we really have to remember this
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is about a partisan effort, but it disproportionately affected people of color, and that's where the voting rights act comes into play because we need to make sure we're not cutting off participation of people in color in particular. >> and i was very happy when i heard about wisconsin and texas today, even though my feet are still aching from 54 miles. but before i could celebrate, pennsylvania came up. senator leach, you are facing a vote there that is predicted that the house there in pennsylvania will pass and governor corbett will sign. tell us what's going on in pennsylvania. >> to give you an idea how egregious this is, they've done a ten-year study in pennsylvania, and you know how many cases of voter impersonation there's been? zero. so when you say you'we're solvi problem that never happens, that's true.
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and what will happen is 700,000 pennsylvanians, mostly poor people, people of color, students, elderly people, and handicapped people will no longer be eligible to vote. they say, well, you can go get a voter i.d., but you have to have a birth certificate, you have to have a social security card, you have to travel to a penndot office to do that. all of that costs money, takes time. and the thing about voter suppression, you don't have to suppress every vote. if you can knock downturnout by 25%, 30%, that's going to make a real difference in close elections. that's the goal here. >> i want to be clear here because judith was talking about the south. this is pennsylvania now. we're talking about in pennsylvan pennsylvania. they want to pass these laws when you've had zero voter i.d., photo i.d. fraud established, according to you. we went back all fraud, we looked at all fraud since '99. out of 31 million votes cast in pennsylvania, there's only been
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12 voter cases that have come up. so you're talking about a complete fabrication of a problem here, senator. >> right. and keep in mind a lot of people in the general public and a lot of politicians who support this use the term fraud broadly, or voter fraud broadly. voter fraud can mean many things, from buying a vote to stuffing the ballot box, to fiddling with the machines or a variety of things. voter i.d. only addresses one type of voter fraud, which is voter impersonation. were a person successfully commit this crime, which is a crime, you have to know the person you're impersonating is registered at that poll, that no one's going to recognize that person from the five or six people there, and that the person has not already voted that day. if you make one mistake, you're going to be in prison for five years. so what you would predict would happen is this crime is so high risk and low reward, it never occu occurs. >> you were trying to get in here, judith? >> reverend sharpton, we know.
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we've been covering this for a while. this is not about preventing fraud. it's about preventing voting. it's important to understand this is a partisan effort, that, in fact, the person who sponsored the law in pennsylvania is a tea party darling who is a part of the american legislative council. so we've been talking about this for a while, and we need to remember that this is not about voter fraud. it's about preventing voting. it's a partisan effort to take away the vote. >> let me throw this to you, senator, as a last point here. governor corbett will sign this when it passes. but let me show you what mr. corbett said in 2010, before he was elected governor, to give you a reason why many of us are very concerned about pennsylvania. he talked about wanting to keep voter turnout down so it would hurt the democrats. listen to this. >> the governor said yesterday that bob should resign as chairman of the democratic
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committee in philadelphia if he doesn't get 50% turnout. we want to make sure that they don't get 50%. keep that down. >> we're going to make sure they don't get 50%. keep that down. not that we're going to get more votes than them. we're going to keep down their vote. this is the man, senator, that will sign a voter i.d. law. maybe he's keeping it down again? >> you're correct, reverend. he also said that philadelphia has too much influence in state elections, when he was trying to change the way we pick electoral votes in pennsylvania. the idea that, because there are more people in philadelphia than there are in like forest county doesn't mean that philadelphia should have more influence in his view. again, through this, through voter i.d., through gerrymandering, this has been an administration and republican party in pennsylvania that's been extremely aggressive about making sure they never lose elections again. that's what we're facing. >> and this is the real voter fraud. >> judith browne-dianis, and
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senator leach, thank you both for your time this evening. we always go over time, but i really have to go. we'll be on this until we resolve this all over the country. >> thank you. ahead, tens of thousands rally for union rights in wisconsin. i'd be worried about that recall election if i were governor walker. and a former mccain aide calls the palin presidency, quote, frightening. but is she still a game changer in the republican party?
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i take the stuff everywhere. exactly. everyone's more energized, more alert. i've lost their respect. oh who's laughing now!? gazelle!! [ male announcer ] personal, portable mio energy. [ gazelle laughs ] we're back with 65,000 reasons why wisconsin's union busting governor scott walker is facing big trouble in his upcoming recall election. on saturday, 65,000 people turned out to protest walker at the state capitol. marking one year since he signed his bill that ended collective bargaining rights for public workers. 65,000 people turned out to say the fight is just beginning. >> giving tax breaks to the very wealthy at the expense of the middle class is wrong.
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>> they're trying to defund us. that's not going to happen. >> i sense change in the air, and i'm not talking spring. >> and that change is already taking place. just today wisconsin officials ruled that recall elections would go ahead for four republican state senators who backed walker's law. walker himself will face a recall this summer. we learned today will most likely be scheduled for june 5th. that recall is happening because 1 million people stood up for workers' rights and signed a petition aimed at forcing walker out of office. walker doesn't stand a chance against the proud working people of wisconsin, who turned out again this weekend to say, enough is enough. [ man ] hmm. a lot can happen in two hundred thousand miles...
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finally tonight, sarah palin. over the weekend, hbo finally had the film "game change," which goes behind the scenes of sarah palin's 2008 campaign when
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she was john mccain's running mate. take a look. >> it's important that you know exactly what you're getting. >> going to alaska to interview her colleagues, her enemies. there was no political vet whatsoever. >> she didn't know why north and south korea were different countries. >> i think the united states has always maintained a great relationship with the queen. >> governor, the queen is not the head of government in england. she's the head of state. >> well, then, who's the head of government? >> the prime minister. do you know what the fed is? >> wow, pretty scary. palin responded to the movie in an e-mail to abc news saying, quote, i believe my family has the right priorities and knows what really matters. and she spoke out on claims she was unprepared and unstable. >> i'm really not too concerned
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about an hbo movie based on a false narrative. >> is there any truth to that story? >> i was never in a funk. thank god i have the right perspective on what really matters in life. >> but the two key mccain aides say that's pretty much how it happened in real life. >> it was very accurate. i think, for all of us who were in the campaign, it really rang true. it gave you a little bit of ptsd. >> true enough to make me squirm. >> one line that really stood out to me was this one. >> still think she's fit for office? >> who cares? 48 hours, we won't even remember who she is. >> well, it's almost four years later, and sarah palin's neither gone or forgotten, but is she still a viable force in the republican party? joining me now from anchorage, alaska, jeannie devin, founder
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of mud flats and co-author of "blind allegiance to sarah palin." and from washington, dana milbank, political columnist for "the washington post." great to have you with us tonight. >> good evening, reverend. >> dana, you saw the movie. sarah palin looked pretty bad, but running made her a huge star. is she still a game changer, in your opinion? >> well, of course she is, reverend. there were scary points of that film but nowhere near as scary as for those of us who lived it in realtime. i don't think anybody ever expects that sarah palin is going to be the president of the united states or even the nominee of her party, but basically, the whole party has been reinvented around her, and there's a lot of pretenders to trying to co-op the palin message. that's what rick perry was about. that's what michele bachmann is about, santorum and gingrich to some extent. and the only way romney is
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staying in the race is by being more like them. so it's really sarah palin's world now, and the rest of us are just living in it. >> jeannie, the people in alaska know her very well. when she was selected, steve schmidt on "morning joe" today talked about what her selection meant and how it affected the campaign. watch. >> i think in that negative in a sense that someone was nominated to t to the vice presidency who was manifestly unprepared to take the oath of office. i think the lesson in all this is the rigor a campaign goes through. it should be staffed like a presidential decision, not a campaign decision. we made a campaign decision, not a presidential decision. >> now, the gist of what was said is she was unprepared, even ma maybe unstable. so you in akron -- in alaska and
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around different parts of the northwest knew her better, but specifically in alaska where she was the governor. were you surprised when they put her on the ticket? >> yes, i think i can probably speak for the entire state when i say that we were very, very surprised. the universal reaction from people here who had been paying attention to politics and watching as her governorship was starting to become on shaky ground, i mean, there were people here that said she wasn't prepared to be governor, who were kind of appalled that she had been elected and were wondering to themselves on this microlevel, like the nation eventually did, how was she elected? how did she become our governor? but the universal opinion here was but she's not prepared. she has no idea what she's doing. her world at the moment is oil and gas, tax policy within the
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state. she had no footing on the stage outside of the borders of alaska. so we were pretty shocked. >> that's what i want to ask you, dana. outside of anchorage, outside of alaska, she has kind of reshaped the party, though, whether she's a viable candidate or not. you're saying to me that a lot of what is going on in the party is because of her influence and her driving the party to the right and how she really set up a persona that you're saying is still very much something that is being dealt with in this present campaign. >> oh, yeah, absolutely. i mean, i think that this party has been transformed. it has essentially become the tea party, but sarah palin, of course, was the forerunner of the tea party. those are very much the same people. so i think there's a lot of other people in the republican party now who feel they can deliver that message with a little more authority and wisdom than sarah palin could. that may be true, but she was
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the first to really tap into this new wave of conservative anger that really took off after the economic collapse. they probably would have lost that race regardless, but there's no question that john mccain, who was sort of the maverick moderate in the party, will have the lasting legacy of having given sarah palin to us, which has turned the party in a fundamentally new direction. >> now, jeannie, according to a new washington post poll, most republicans want a new nominee. 70% want someone else to be the nominee. palin didn't rule out that there could be a brokered convention, and she didn't rule out that she would eliminate herself from the floor. anything is possible, she says. i don't close any doors that perhaps would open out there. so, no, i wouldn't close that door, and my plan is to be at that convention. is this within the realm of the possible to you?
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>> well, i think her quote there about open doors harkens back to something she had said previously, which was she looked at her vice presidential nominee as god opening the door for her and her walking through. and i think that she does tend to live her life and make many of her decisions based on a sense of destiny, based on a sense of god providing an opportunity and her obligation to take it. she had spoken a while back to someone, i can't remember, but that george washington was her favorite founding father. he was a reluctant leader. he was called by those beneath him to lead, and i think she identifies with that and sort of looks for those opportunities to feel chosen. but one interesting thing too about her being the voice of conservatism is that, when she was the governor of alaska, she really was a very moderate voice. the only reason that she was
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able to get things accomplished was working with democrats across the aisle. so her transformation has been pretty remarkable from alaska to the national stage. >> dana, i will tell you she's still a favorite on late night tv. "saturday night live" came and dealt with her again this week. look at this, dana. >> howdy there, don't you know? glad to be back. oh, yeah. >> jeanne, dana. jeanne, let me ask you. you've got to answer this yes or no because i have to go. just between us, can you see russia from her backyard? >> not from her backyard. you'd have to travel hundreds and hundreds of miles. >> jeanne, dana, thank you for your time tonight. >> now you know. >> thanks, reverend. >> thank you so much, reverend. >> well, we still will see tomorrow what happens